WARSAW, Nov 24 (Reuters) – Migrants tried to force their way through the fence on the Poland-Belarus border in at least two locations on Tuesday night, the Polish Border Guard said, as tensions remained on the ground amid a diplomatic push by the Polish prime minister.
While the number of migrants at the frontier has decreased, Warsaw says repeated incidents showed Minsk may have changed tactics but had not given up plans to use migrants fleeing the Middle East and other hotspots as a weapon in the stand-off with the European Union.
The Polish Border Guard said on Twitter that at around 1800 GMT on Tuesday a group of around 100 migrants had tried to force their way through, and a video accompanying the tweet showed a section of the border fence flattened with armed men in military uniforms standing on the other side.
The Border Guard said another group of 40 migrants made two attempts to force through the border near the village of Mielnik, throwing stones, branches and stun grenades at Polish forces.
One soldier was injured near Mielnik, Border Guard spokeswoman Anna Michalska told state-run news agency PAP.
“One of the soldiers suffered head injuries. He was given medical help,” she was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, after visits to Budapest and Zagreb on Tuesday, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki was in Paris and heading later to Ljubljana on Wednesday in a bid to reinforce European unity behind a tough stance on Belarus and Russia.
Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz told Reuters that Morawiecki would meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday.
“The prime minister is now talking to the EU leaders, starting with Paris, President Macron, to keep the unity of the European Union… and be prepared for further actions if there is a further deterioration of the security situation,” he said.
(Reporting by Alan Charlish and Pawel Florkiewicz Editing by Tomasz Janowski)
Photo – Border guards near the town of Usnarz Gorny, north-west Poland. EPA-EFE/ARTUR RESZKO